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image Full bleed image Claude summer
image Side illustration summer Claude diy general

Switch on your smarts

Summer is a great time to catch up on those DIY jobs you’ve been putting off all year. But before you break out the tools, make sure you’ve switched on your smarts.

image Side illustration Claude summer RCD safety

Stay safe with RCD safety switches

A residual current device (RCD) safety switch can protect you from serious electric shock. They monitor the electrical currents in your building or device and switch off the supply if something goes wrong.

  • Use an RCD safety switch when working with electrical equipment outside – it is too easy to accidentally damage or slice through an electric cable.
  • If you are working in a damp environment, or are wet and in contact with the ground, it is even easier for electricity to flow through you. Always use an RCD safety switch when working with electrical equipment outside or in damp areas inside.
  • If you know the appliance or extension lead is damaged or think there is an electrical fault with an appliance, power cords, or wiring – turn them off and get them checked by a licensed electrician. Don't be tempted to use them anyway – you could lose your life.
  • RCD safety switches are available in lots of places, like hardware shops and electrical equipment suppliers.

An RCD safety switch is a safety device – you should have access to a portable one, especially if your house is not fitted with RCD protection and you are doing DIY.

image Side illustration Claude summer check before dig

Check before you dig

If you’re planning on doing any digging work, make sure you follow safe digging practices. Damage to gas pipes and electricity cables can cause fires, explosions, or arcing currents.

  • Make sure you check for any underground gas, power, telephone or water services before you dig.
  • Check plans through your local council and gas and electrical companies.
  • Use a cable locator – get these at electrical equipment suppliers – or hire a contractor.

Always check before you dig!

image Side illustration Calude summer battery use

Battery use and charging

If an appliance is not working normally or smells, sounds, or looks strange – stop using it and get it fixed or replaced.

  • Always use the correct battery for the appliance.
  • Always use the correct charger for the battery.
  • Don’t use damaged batteries or batteries that have been dropped, as they can fail.
  • Dispose of batteries responsibly at a hazardous waste collection site or through a battery recycling scheme. Batteries disposed of incorrectly can cause fires.